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The Even-Handed Teacher

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Source:
Author: Maxine Levaren

Are teachers fair? Who knows? Are they even-handed?

That can be tested, and Lea Cohen did just that, as shown in her project display in figure below.

Figure: Project display for “The even-handed teacher.”

Hypothesis

I believe that a right-handed teacher pays more attention to the left side of the room, so that he or she can pay attention to the class while writing on the board.

Independent variables

Left- and right-handed teachers

Dependent variables

Classroom location of students called on

Experimental groups

Fourteen classrooms, between fourth and eighth grades

Procedures

Visit 14 classrooms 4 times, for 10 minutes each and observe the following:

• Whether the teacher is left- or right-handed
• The arrangement of the classroom (in rows, in a semi-circle, and so on)
• The location and frequency of the students called on

Results

On average, the right-handed teachers called on students as follows:

On left side of room: 3.17 times

In center of room: 1.69 times

On right side of room: 2.88 times

Note: Only one left-handed teacher was in the sample.

Conclusions

My hypothesis was that a right-handed teacher would pay attention to the left side of the room, so that he or she can pay attention to the class while writing on the board. The results proved that my hypothesis was correct.

A possible improvement in my project would be to include more left-handed teachers in the test.